Grow gardens with your mouse.

If you’re like me, you grew up enjoying a slew of simulation games that transported you into another world. You ran lives with The Sims, you ran your own theme park with Roller Coaster Tycoon, and you ran your own transportation company with Transport Tycoon.

Well, what if all that you were building up in your fantasy world on your computer screen was actually taking place in a remote location in real life? The folks at agricultural firm Azienda Agricola Giacomo Ferraris have made it possible with their website – Le Verdure Del Mio Orto (‘The Vegetables from my Garden’). It lets you grow your own organic vegetable garden right from the comfort of your home. You’ll get to remain in your boxers, sipping on your cup of coffee and still have fresh pesticide-free produce to nourish you.

That’s because once you’ve paid for your plot of land and designed your virtual farm online, they’ll build an actual farm in northern Italy with the exact crops you chose. Once the produce grows, it’s picked and delivered to your doorstep within 24 hours. Brilliant.

Still not sure how it works? Check out this review on You can also visit the actual (Italian) site here.

I’d love to see an expansion into other countries too. Their site is colorful and fun! Now if only I could read Italian.

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Turning Windows into Farms

Big window farm at Eyebeam, July 2009. Photo by Lindsey Castillo.

I’m a city girl. I grew up in a place that was pretty much a concrete jungle. And until I was 21, the only farms I’d seen were those on my computer screen when I played Sim Farm. That probably explains why I stared in wide-eyed wonder as Sam drove me around the vast farmlands of Wisconsin. I was so excited that the barns, silos and haystacks looked just like the images painted in my mind by the virtual game!

Gabriel Willow's Window Farm, July 2009. Photo by Gabriel Willow.

When I was working on the documentary for Project Green Heals, where we followed 98 high school students on their journeys to learn about urban agriculture, I learned about the great benefits of having food grown close-by. Food grown locally:

  • doesn’t have to be transported over hundreds of miles, so you save on gas and energy.
  • gets to you faster, so it hasn’t lost as many nutrients.
  • has no need for harmful chemical preservatives to keep them looking good longer.

Just like Singapore though, Chicago is a bustling city where buildings fill almost every square foot of the area. Without the huge plots of land, many believe it’s impossible to grow our own food. Fortunately, there are groups out there working to prove that it can be done. Uncommon Ground has turned one of Chicago’s many flat roofs into the country’s first organic rooftop farm.

Gabriel Willow's Window Farm, July 2009. Photo by Gabriel Willow.

The Jane Addams Hull House turned a small plot of land right in the middle of the city into an urban farm, growing enough food to run its soup kitchen to feed the hungry.

But what if you don’t own a restaurant or you’re not part of a large organization? What can we, as regular individuals, do about it?

Window Farms could be the answer. Imagine being able to grow food, right in your own apartment window.

Window Farms are vertical, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield edible window gardens built using low-impact or recycled local materials.

Learn in less than 3 mintues what it’s all about:

Made from recycled bottles, decorative and food bearing. I find that pretty darn cool. I’d definitely love to give growing my own food a shot in my future home. Has your family ever been into home gardening? What are your thoughts on the Window Farms?